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West Side Bazaar hosts Fourth of July party for new citizens

Purnima Mohan came up with the idea for this small party as a way to celebrate the vendors' first Independence Day as American citizens.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Take a look around the West Side Bazaar and you'll flags from around the world, representing the countries of origin of each vendor inside. Today there's one flag that matters most. 

"A few of our vendors got their citizenship recently, and we just thought we could celebrate," Purnima Mohan told 2 On Your Side. 

Mophan came up with the idea for this small party as a way to celebrate the vendors' first Independence Day as American citizens. Nestled among the pop-up stands are red white and blue cupcakes and face painting.

For vendors like Htay Niang, being here is celebration enough. 

Niang is originally from Burma and came to Buffalo to be with family after spending time in Malaysia. That's where he honed his cooking skills.

Niang became a citizen in December of 2018. Now he spends his days serving up traditional dishes to every customer he sees. 

"Every Item I make special for every customer," he told 2 On Your Side. 

A new country and his own restaurant are part of why he's celebrating.

Having a business of his own is part of his America Dream and he, like the others in the Bazaar, are glad that they have a chance to make it happen.

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